The government assured the public that it’s top priority is building more qualified laboratories for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) testing.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this pronouncement in an interview as he recognized the dire need to put up new laboratories to speed up the testing for Covid-19.
“We’re still aggressively pursuing the establishment of more laboratories because we don’t have enough,” Roque said.
Roque also agreed that the government needs to further expand the country’s testing capacity.
“You know, it’s not just the (laboratories’) capacity. It’s the actual testing that (is) being done so we need to improve not just the capacity but also to make sure that they all have (supplies) so that they can maximize their capacities,” he said.
The Philippines currently has 54 laboratories that have been accredited by the Department of Health (DOH) to conduct independent testing for Covid-19.
As of June 4, a total of 396,914 tests for Covid-19 have been conducted on 366,423 individuals, a significant increase from 83,551 tests recorded on May 26.
National Task Force against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon announced on June 4 the government’s plan to raise the testing capacity to 50,000 per day by the end of this month.
Asymptomatic individuals may be included, according to Dizon, especially those living in areas with high Covid-19 cases, in the expanded targeted testing for the disease.